Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Jul 28th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Rat Trap

lylb ratIt’s been a short two years since the inception of Rat Trap, and the release of their 2012 sophomore album, Blueprints of a Paper City. But in that time, the group’s been through a lot of changes. Initially, Grant Simmons started the band as a two-piece garage rock cover band, which turned into a five-piece indie-folk band (including a violin). By the time they jumped in the study to record Blueprints of a Paper City, Simmons had traded his acoustic guitar for an electric, and started listening to a whole lot of post-rock bands like Sigur Rós and Explosions in the Sky.

“I made a conscious decision to try and do something a little different than the first album, try and incorporate more distortion and reverb, and make it a little weirder,” says Simmons. “The songs I wrote aren’t post-rock, but they definitely have post-rock elements. You get stuff like more violin, totally reverbed guitars. We’ll get some weird textures on the guitars.”

The first album, The Western Boundary, which was released in 2011, sounds like a forgotten Lou Reed folk album. The songs have a gentle, eccentric swagger, and Simmons sings in a voice that’s equally conversational and offbeat. Blueprints of a Paper City has a similar oddball ease about it, but is done over layers of sounds. It combines the sing-songy minimalism of Beat Happening with the complex sonic soundscapes of Mogwai.

The violinist remains an integral part of the equation. When Simmons first met him, he just wanted him to play over a couple of songs on their first album, but then he liked it so much he wanted it on every song. Aside from just the gorgeous sweeping melody the violin adds, it also influences the band to create a sound that is more mellow and restrained.

“We’ll go, ‘we want violin in this song, and so we have to restructure it.’ It makes us tone back a little bit, which always makes us sound better, I think,” Simmons says.


INFO: 9 p.m., Sunday, May 11, Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz; $8, 429-6994.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Binding of Edmund McMillen

How a Santa Cruz designer created one of the most unlikely hits in video game history

 

Sun in Leo, Rosy Star, Venus and Uranus Retrograde

Three major celestial events occur this week. Wednesday, the Sun enters Leo, highlighting the heart center of everyone. Leo is a sign of deep sensitivity (along with Cancer). Wednesday is also the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. Saturday, July 25, Venus turns stationary retrograde at 0 Virgo (progressed Regulus, the Law, Hall of Records). Venus retrogrades for 44 days and nights, forming one petal of a five-pointed rosy star (pentagram) in the sky (five retrogrades over eight years = star). Venus retrograde turns values upside down. Our usual sense of beauty, values, the real price of things, relationships—all turn into a bundle of confusion. We don’t seem to know anything. Luxury goods are mispriced, values are jumbled, we wonder who that person is we’re in relationship with. We don’t know where our money is or where it’s gone. Venus, in daily life, represents values (resources, money, possessions and quality of relationships). Venus retrograde asks, “What do I value?” Venus retrograde puts us in touch with what has changed and what is truly of value in our lives. Venus retrogrades from 0 Virgo to 14 degrees Leo (July 25-Sept. 6). Leo is about the self and our creativity, which is how we come to know and value ourselves. We “know ourselves through what we create.” In Venus (values) retrograde (inner focus) we will ask, “What are values (not just money and finances)? What are my values? What do I create? How do I value my creations? Do I value myself?” Sunday, Uranus—planet of all things new, revelatory and revolutionary—also retrogrades (from 20 to 16 degrees Aries) until the full moon of Christmas Day. Five months of Uranus retrograde. In July and continuing on through the following months we have many planets retrograding. Things therefore slow down. Everyone’s focus becomes subjective, hidden by veils and curtains. A time when inner reserves of strength are available. A time of protection.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 24

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

AJ’s Market

Local cult fave keeps getting bigger and better

 

What do you think of Bernie Sanders?

He’s what we need, more hardcore Democrats. Old-school, ’70s-style Democrats. Tony Dolan, Santa Cruz, Freelancer

 

Hunter Hill Vineyards & Winery

Calling all Merlot lovers—Hunter Hill has released its 2013 estate Merlot ($25)—and a superb one it is, too.

 

Turn Up the Beet

Golden beets with buffalo mozzarella, plus single-malt whiskies and award-winning local Chardonnays